Slixa

Safeguard Your Privacy and Security

Slixa’s Avatar Article by Blog Slixa Under Cover

The thoughtful advice and opinions of the author of this article are meant to be informative and entertaining and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Slixa.

Slixa goes above and beyond to to help safeguard your privacy and security. You can do much more with very little effort.

How You Can Protect Yourself

We provide the following tips and links for improving personal information security as a community service, because we believe privacy is critically important. However we cannot provide support or assistance with implementing or using the suggestions in this section. There are plenty of online guides to help, and a privacy conscious search engine (like DuckDuckGo) is your friend when looking for more information.

Use a Passcode on Your Phone
Set a passcode on your iPhone/iOS or Android device to protect your photos, emails, texts, and phone calls. For extra security choose a longer passcode, and for convenience you might want to use the fingerprint reader if your phone has one. If you're using Android turn on device encryption (iOS automatically enables this).

  • Cost: Free
  • Difficulty: Easy - 2 minutes
  • Effect on security: High

Create Another User On Your Computer
Create another user on your computer (Windows or OSX) for your business activities to keep your online personal life (and Facebook, Twitter, Email, etc) separate from your work life.

Not only does this keep nosy house mates from accidentally stumbling on your work data when you leave your laptop on, but it decreases the chances of you accidentally posting to your personal Twitter account when you meant to post to your work account (each account can be logged into a different Twitter account).

  • Cost: Free, built into all modern computers
  • Difficulty: Easy, but requires some discipline to remember to switch between accounts and keep tasks separate
  • Effect on security: Medium - helps protect you from accidental discovery, but won't protect your data from someone who has access to your laptop and is looking for your hidden data (see full disk encryption, below)

Protect Your Phone Calls
Protect your phone calls with apps like RedPhone (Android) and Signal (iOS). As an added bonus, all calls are free and no long distance charges!

Avoid discussing anything private on Skype and over regular phone calls.

  • Cost: Free
  • Difficulty: Easy, however you'll need to convince the people you want to contact that they should also use one of the above apps (tell them about the free calling)
  • Effect on security: High

Use Messaging Apps That Protect You
Use texting apps that protect your privacy. TextSecure (Android) and Signal (iOS) are considered to be among the most secure and easy to use. iMessage is believed to be secure and is built into every iOS device (although it will also send unprotected SMS messages).

Avoid private conversations while using WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Line, Twitter, and standard text messaging on your cell phone.

  • Cost: Free
  • Difficulty: Easy, however you'll need to convince the people you want to contact that they should also use one of the above apps
  • Effect on security: High

Block Online Tracking
Use privacy protecting browser plugins, like Privacy Badger and HTTPS Everywhere, to keep your data as safe as possible and prevent companies from tracking your information from site to site.

Avoid installing plugins from people you don't trust, and when installing software on your computer beware of free software that installs "extra" software or changes your homepage.

  • Cost: Free
  • Difficulty: Easy - 2 minutes
  • Effect on security: Medium - increases in combination with an anonymous VPN or TOR (below)

Use a Password Manager
Use a password manager like LastPass or 1Password to generate and store strong passwords for all your online accounts, and use a strong master password (remembering one strong password is easier than remembering many weak ones).

  • Cost: Free (LastPass Personal) to $50 (1Password)
  • Difficulty: Easy to start, increases security the more you use it
  • Effect on security: High as long as you use a good master password

Use TOR or an Anonymous VPN When Online
Use Tor Browser or an anonymous VPN that respects your privacy (like Private Internet Access) when accessing the internet, especially when going online as your business persona. Tor Browser offers excellent anonymity (at the cost of browsing speed and some functionality). VPNs will offer faster speeds for a fee the the requirement that you trust the VPN provider.

Avoid free proxy or VPN services - running these services cost money, and the owners sell your data and install malware in order to offset those costs.

  • Cost: Free (Tor Browser) to cheap (VPN services)
  • Difficulty: Easy (Tor Browser) to Medium (VPN services)
  • Effect on security: Depends on your behavior - you're still posting online, and if you post personal information others can still see it, but sites you visit will have a harder time automatically determining your location and identity.

These are just some of the easiest and most effective things you can do, but there are plenty more. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has an excellent and impartial Surveillance Self Defense guide available that's a little technical in parts, but offers excellent information regarding online privacy and security.

Questions?

We would be happy to answer any questions you have about Slixa, please email us at help@slixa.com, or see our contact page for more information.

Note we can only help you with Slixa, and cannot provide help or support for the third party software and services mentioned above.


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